Why Do Muay Thai Fighters Kick With Shins?
If you watch a typical martial arts movie, you might see an elbow or knee strike move here or there. Most of the time, you’ll see traditionally “beautiful” martial arts like Kung Fu or Karate which are both Chinese-based martial arts. Muay Thai originated in what is now called Thailand and is unique in that Muay Thai fighters use the fist, elbow, shin, and knee to deliver brutal strikes. For this reason, Muay Thai is often referred to as the Art of Eight Limbs. Read more about Muay Thai history, here. [Related: Reddit Users’ Muay Thai Shin Questions Answered by Kru Chris]
Do any other martial arts forms kick with shins?
– The use of the shin in martial arts is unique to Muay Boran and Muay Thai art forms. Muay Thai fighters spend years conditioning their shins by kicking Thai Pads, heavy bags, and sparring to deliver “baseball bat-like” strikes.
Why kick with your shin instead of foot?
– Would you rather get kicked or hit with a bat? If a skilled Nak Muay kicks you, it will feel like someone just took a malicious swing at you with a solid oak bat. Muay Thai fighters even take a unique fight stance that provides heavy torque and momentum for the bat kick. Many MMA fighters choose Muay Thai fight stance due to the versatility and opportunity it provides to cause maximum damage.
– A basic move across most martial arts is the roundhouse kick. Most martial art forms use a snapping motion to deliver an impact via the foot. In the case of a street fight setting, if your aim is off when delivering a foot kick, the chances of your leg getting grabbed are higher than if you were to kick with your shin. [Related: Is Muay Thai Effective for Self-Defense?]
In what situations is it best to kick with shins?
– A basic move across most martial arts is the roundhouse kick. For a roundhouse kick, most martial art forms use a snapping motion to deliver an impact via the foot. In the case of a street fight setting, if your aim is off when delivering a foot kick, the chances of your leg getting grabbed are higher than if you were to kick with shins.
In what situations is the “foot kick” most effective?
– The shin kick can cause more damage and be more effective in close distance. Front kicks, back kicks, and roundhouse kicks that rely on the snapping foot motion can be more effective when there is significant reach to close quickly. Many also argue that karate kicks can be delivered faster with concentrated power due to the snapping motion and small surface area focused on the ball of the foot.
Some martial art forms were created with beauty in mind. Muay Thai originated out of a need for war brutality and effectiveness. The bottom line is that any skilled martial artists can deliver damaging blows whether they use a foot or shin. If you’d like to learn more about Muay Thai, visit T.A.G. Muay Thai on YouTube or stop by our Sterling, VA, gym.